Frosty and foggy at first light, but this soon lifted and thawed to give a long-awaited, windless, blue-sky day. Oaken Wood was alive with bird song; Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Robin approved the change in weather.
By Gallagher's Gallop a Green Woodpecker looped across the track, and a glance across to the band of silver birches revealed a Gallup of Redpolls. I spent a good half hour scanning through the 35+ birds, which became literately a pain in the neck!
They all looked to be Lesser Redpolls to me, although I caught a brief glimpse of one that I wasn't sure about, it kinda looked grey!
Back out at lunch to check if the Redpolls were still around (they weren't) I was elated to see a couple of Buzzards drifting over the N edge of Oaken Wood and into East Malling airspace (no 79 for East Malling tetrad).
The birds seemed to be interacting and the darker bird kept trying to lock talons and twisting around (displaying?). Eventually they drifted apart and the pale bird (juvenile) drifted back to Oaken Wood. It had warmed up nicely now and I half expected a butterfly to flutter past, but I had to be content with a Ladybird tucked up in the seed head of a Clematis.
A Coal Tit was another welcome addition to the day list and the Little Owl was in it's usual spot.
Checking my strawberry plots on the Research Station in the afternoon I picked a large flock of Gulls on some newly-ploughed land, 90+ predominantly Black-headed but also some Common and Herring Gulls.
I put up 40+ Linnets from some set-aside as I cycled past, and 10x Skylarks and a lone Yellowhammer followed.
I noticed some birds flitting around a plot of Miscanthus and presumed they were more Yellowhammers of Linnets but as I got closer I realised they were Reed Buntings! I've only had one on the Research Station site, a lone birds 5-6 years ago, but this was Mural of 13 birds! Lovely - no 80 for the tetrad.